Yeti SB5.5 - Review

Dec 19, 2016
by Mike Kazimer  




There was a brief moment in time where it seemed as if 29ers were at risk of fading away, relegated to XC race courses and mellower terrain as 27.5” wheels stepped into the limelight. Luckily, that moment quickly passed, and this past year we've seen a resurgence of mid- to long-travel 29ers, with more on the way. Yeti's entry into the fray is the SB5.5, a bike that's meant to be able to handle everything from the rigors of the Enduro World Series to casual after work rips on your local trails.

Equipped with Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension system, the SB5.5 has 140mm of rear travel matched with a 160mm fork up front. There are two different versions of the full carbon frame, the Turq and the Carbon. Both share the same geometry and stiffness, but the Turq uses a different carbon layup that results in a half-pound of weight savings, along with a higher cost.

Yeti SB5.5 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• 66.5° head angle
• Carbon fiber frame
• BB92 bottom bracket
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Weight (as shown, size L w/o pedals): 28.5 lb (12.9 kg)
• MSRP: $7,095 USD as shown, $3,500 frame only
www.yeticycles.com / @yeticycles

The build kit on our X01 Eagle bike leaves little to be desired, with a 160mm Fox 36 Float fork, a Float X shock, SRAM Guide RS brakes, and DT Swiss XM481 rims shod with a 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF / 2.3” Aggressor tire combo. Race Face takes care of the cockpit with a 50mm Turbine stem and an 800mm SixC carbon handlebar, as well as a 150mm Turbine dropper post.



Yeti SB 5.5C review
It's nice to see a proper headtube badge, an often overlooked detail these days.
Yeti SB 5.5C review
Internal cable routing keeps everything hidden inside the carbon frame.


Frame Details

All of the bikes in the SB series share similar lines, and from a distance it can be difficult to tell one model from another. That's not a bad thing, though – the curvy, swoopy carbon shapes make for frames that are just as eye-catching and lust-worthy as ever. All of the housing is hidden inside the aqua-colored carbon fiber tubes, with rubber ports to help minimize the amount of rattling.

There are ISCG tabs for running a chain guide or bash guard, a feature that the shorter travel SB4.5 lacks. If there's one downside to Yeti's Switch Infinity system it's that it prevents a water bottle from being mounted inside the front triangle, which leaves the mud catching under-the-downtube location as the only option.

Other notable details include Boost spacing (15x110mm up front, and 12x148mm in the rear), a BB92 bottom bracket, and integrated chainstay and downtube protection.


Yeti SB 5.5C review
Boost spacing is in place front and rear.
Yeti SB 5.5C review
Fox's Float X handles the bike's 140mm of rear travel.


Suspension Design

Just like its sibling in the SB line, the 5.5 relies on the Switch Infinity suspension design for its 140mm of rear travel. The system uses two short Kashima-coated rails (courtesy of Fox Shox, who collaborated with Yeti on the design) located just above the bottom bracket to manipulate the bike's axle path.


Views: 38,040    Faves: 12    Comments: 1


Initially, as the bike goes through its travel the carrier moves upwards on the rails, giving the bike a rearward axle path for improved pedaling performance. As the rear wheel goes deeper into its travel, the mechanism moves downwards, reducing the amount of chain tension for better big hit absorption. The carrier itself only moves a few millimeters each direction, but it's enough to have a significant impact on the way the bike's suspension behaves, especially compared to a single pivot suspension design.


Geometry

In a sea of bikes with increasingly long and slack geometry, Yeti didn't go too crazy when it came to deciding on the SB5.5's numbers. The 66.5-degree head angle is achieved by running a 160mm fork, which means that there's not a lot of room left for geometry manipulation by adding more travel up front. That was a conscious decision on Yeti's part – when the bike was first launched, Chris Conroy (Yeti's president) explained that they wanted it to be an all-rounder, rather than a race-specific beast solely focused on the descents.

A 437mm chainstay length and a reach of 442mm for a size large again fall in the middle of the spectrum as far as measurements go. Of course, there's more to a bike that what a handful of numbers on a screen mean, and with the SB5.5 that's especially true.
Yeti SB 5.5c



Specifications
Specifications
Price $7099
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X
Fork Fox 36 Factory
Headset Cane Creek 40
Cassette SRAM 1295 Eagle 10-50t
Crankarms SRAM X01 carbon
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP BB92
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle
Chain SRAM Eagle
Handlebar Race Face SixC 800mm
Stem Race Face Turbine 50mm
Grips Yeti lock-on
Wheelset DT Swiss 350 w/XM481 Boost
Tires F: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 EXO, R: Maxxis Aggressor EXO 2.3
Seat Yeti / WTB Custom
Seatpost Race Face Turbine, 150mm drop

Yeti SB 5.5C review








Setup

I've chided Yeti in the past for spec'ing narrow bars and long stems, but it looks like that's no longer necessary, and with a 50mm stem and 800mm bars the SB5.5 is ready to rock and roll right out of the box. If anything, some riders may want to trim the bars down to suit their needs, but that's a hell of a lot easier than trying to figure out how to make them wider. I ran the Maxxis Aggressor rear tire that the bike comes with for the first few weeks of testing, but once the winter rains set in I swapped it out for a DHR II in order to gain additional traction in the mud.

As far as suspension setup goes, after some experimentation, I ended up settling on running the Float X with 25% sag, which ended up equating to running my body weight plus 30 psi. For the Float 36, I started off with Fox's recommended settings and adjusted accordingly to suit my riding style. The FIT 4 damper is easy to configure, with three pre-set compression settings that are changed by rotating the small blue lever, along with 22 clicks in the fully open setting that allow for further fine tuning of the fork's low speed compression.


Yeti SB 5.5C review

Climbing

For the last several months the SB5.5 has been my go-to machine for big days in the saddle, multi-hour missions that include a mix of everything, with a strong focus on including as many long descents as possible. There's not one particular trait that's earned it this position – instead, it's a mix of attributes that make it extremely well suited for racking up the vertical.

The SB5.5's outright climbing speed is reasonable, but not extraordinary – the shorter travel (and lighter) SB4.5 has the edge in that regard – but it's comfortable and well-mannered, even when faced with off-camber messes of slimy roots. On smoother logging road grinds I'd flip the Float X's lever into the middle compression setting, but for chunkier bits of trail I'd run it wide open in order to gain the most traction possible. There is a little more suspension movement in this position, but the bike still has a very satisfying surge forward when you power down on the pedals.

Compared to the YT Jeffsy, which has fairly similar geometry numbers, the SB5.5's cockpit feels a little more stretched out, likely due to the slacker seat angle. This, combined with the 160mm fork can cause the front end to feel a little light on steeper climbs, but in those cases it was simply a matter of getting out of the saddle and shifting more weight forwards to stop any wandering. While the Jeffsy felt a little peppier on the climbs, the SB5.5 delivered more traction and grip in rough, chopped up sections of trail – the rear wheel stayed planted exactly where it needed to be.

The bottom line? If you're solely focused on setting KOM's, sprinting up every hill like you just pounded a gallon of Red Bull with an EPO chaser, the SB5.5 probably isn't the answer. But it's not a sluggish, plodding beast either, and it'll get the job done in fine style time and time again.


Yeti SB 5.5C review
Donny Allison drops in aboard the SB5.5.


Descending

Yeti may have tried to make the SB5.5 into an all-rounder, but luckily, one thing they most certainly didn't do is put a governor on its downhill speed. The SB5.5 is wickedly fast, nearly silent, and extremely stable, making it a potent weapon out on the trails. It has all the ingredients of an excellent race bike, and it only took a few downhill runs to realize why it's Yeti team member Cody Kelley's bike of choice.

Remember being a kid out on the playground and trying to pump hard enough to do a full loop over the top of the swingset? There were always rumors that somebody's cousin had finally cracked the code, encouraging another round of trying to go even higher, to achieve the seemingly impossible. That's what it's like riding the SB5.5 – no matter how fast you go, it feels like it can handle being pushed even harder and faster, which is motivation enough to head up for just one more run.

Compared to the Trek Slash, the SB5.5 has a livelier, more precise feel. The Slash, with its slacker head angle and 10mm of additional rear travel, requires seriously steep and rough terrain to really come alive, while the SB5.5 isn't quite as single-mindedly focused, giving it a wider range of trails where it can excel. It's not quite as plush as the Trek, or Specialized's Enduro 29 for that matter, but it still has a very solid, unflappable feeling at speed.


Yeti 5.5C review
bigquotesThe SB5.5 is wickedly fast, nearly silent, and extremely stable, making it a potent weapon out on the trails.


It was only on the tightest, most awkward trails, times when things slowed to less eye-watering speeds where the SB5.5 felt a touch unwieldy, require a little extra muscle to keep it moving ahead, but those instances mostly just served as reminders that the aqua-colored machine would rather be going fast at all times.

The 160mm Fox 36 and the 2.5” wide Minion DHF up front are about as good as it gets when it comes to providing traction and mowing through rocks and roots, and despite the 20mm travel difference, the Float X did a fine job at keeping pace with the action occurring up front. Pushing deep into that 140mm of rear travel and then unweighting results in a satisfying boost skyward, ideal for doubling up sections of trail or popping off the lip of a jump. The rear travel has a very linear feel, without a ton of ramp up towards the end of the shock's stroke, but running 25% sag worked well to ensure that the times when I used all of the travel were entirely justified.


Yeti SB 5.5C review
It's hard to go wrong with Maxxis' Minion DHF, especially the meaty 2.5" version.
Yeti SB 5.5C Review
Race Face's cable actuated Turbine dropper has 150mm of infinitely adjustable drop.


Component Check


• SRAM Guide RS brakes: I have zero complaints about the performance of the Guide RS brakes, but given the SB5.5's asking price I would have liked to see the RSC model spec'd – that model's pad contact point adjustment makes it easy to dial in the perfect lever feel.

• 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF WT: What is there to say about the Minion DHF that hasn't been said before? It's one of the best tires out there, and the 29” version offers up an incredible amount of traction.

• DT Swiss XM481 rims: I didn't need to pull out the truing wrench at all during my time on this bike, and that's saying something considering how many rough miles it's seen. The XM481 rims are a breeze to set up tubeless, and the 30mm inner width allows for running wide tires at low pressure without sacrificing sidewall support.

• RaceFace Turbine dropper post: There weren't any issues with getting the Turbine post to move up and down through its 150mm of travel, although the amount of effort it takes to push the thumb lever is on the high side compared to other cable-actuated posts like the Fox Transfer or KS Lev.

• SRAM Eagle Drivetrain: Shifting was crisp and quick, and there were zero dropped chains over the course of the test period. It's a matter of personal preference, but I think a 32-tooth front chainring would have been a better match to the 10-50 tooth cassette than the 30-tooth ring that's spec'd – I rarely found myself in the easiest gear, even on long, steep climbs.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesIf the bikes in Yeti's SB lineup were members of a rock band, the SB5.5 is a shoo-in for a spot behind the drum kit, except that this isn't your run-of-the-mill drummer. It'll keep the beat and cruise right along on the approach, but when it comes time to descend the SB5.5 can throw down a mean performance, with a virtuosity right up there with Buddy Rich at his best. Now if only there was room for a water bottle inside the front triangle... - Mike Kazimer




Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review




About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 160lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Twenty years deep into a mountain biking addiction that began as a way to escape the suburban sprawl of Connecticut, Mike Kazimer is most at home deep the woods, carving his way down steep, technical trails. The decade he spent as a bike mechanic helped create a solid technical background to draw from when reviewing products, and his current location in the Pacific Northwest allows for easy access to the wettest, muddiest conditions imaginable.



269 Comments

  • + 176
 I don't care how good it rides, that is one of the best looking trail bikes on the market. Pure sex.
  • + 36
 I know what to ask for christmas now !! And i know what i wont receive too
  • + 28
 @RedBurn: For real, thanks for remind us what no one is getting for Christmas Frown
  • + 5
 $$$
  • + 12
 the two Evil 29ers (well, all their bikes, really) i think have the edge on looks, and they even have the same color.
  • + 7
 mike- buddy rich, hunh? which bike is the john bonham? for kicks...which one would be the lars ullrich?
  • + 45
 @fullbug: Lars Ulrich is definitely an Ellsworth...
  • + 4
 That's what I most love talking about Yeti'S designs and prestige, the true is we can't affor even their cheapest or second hand models easily.
  • + 1
 @briceps: lol. proflex
  • + 4
 Lars is an Evil for sure! Max Weinberg is an Ellsworth. But I can't think of I bike cool enough to be Bonham. I don't think one exists. It would have to be better than everything else in every way for all of eternity. And even after it was gone it would still rule.
  • + 2
 The yeti would be John Longstreth.
  • + 6
 @fullbug: I'd be interested as to which is the Keith Moon bike...
  • + 1
 @fullbug: I'm still waiting for the John Henry Bonham sled >> ?
  • + 1
 Don't want to ride the John 'Stumpy' Pepys bike! Or any of his successors!
  • + 3
 @whistlingcoyote: choked on seslant
  • + 2
 @whistlingcoyote: dammit I meant to say sealant
  • + 0
 @panzer103: Evil would be Dirk Digler
  • + 0
 Arbr Sakar = Keith Richards
  • + 22
 @fullbug: A Cannodale with a lefty is the drummer from Def Leppard for sure
  • + 1
 @Marc2211: that would have to be Cam McCaul's bike he launches into his swimming pool in the collective
  • + 2
 @panzer103: Props for the John Longstreth reference! Don't know how many people will know who he is... Definitely one of my favorite metal drummers.
  • + 1
 yup
  • + 2
 I would like the Chris Adler of bikes. Who makes that?
  • + 1
 @SlodownU: easy. it's whatever bike kovarik is blasting and scaring berms on.
  • + 1
 @Anthonymango: Hell yeah! He literally putsprpretty much all drummers to shame. If these peeps only knew they would understand
  • + 1
 @Jmc1gear: sealant said with a lisp 'seslant'
  • + 2
 @RikkiRockit: I'd consider a Patrol Carbon for Bonham. Can handle the big heavy shit and the tech jazzy stuff with equal aplomb.
  • + 1
 @Wamprat: I wish I could like this 100 times!
  • + 1
 @RikkiRockit: Lars Ulrich=The Wreckoning (2 wheeled death machine) no doubt!
  • + 115
 It's almost like they put that water bottle there just to annoy Pinkbike readers.
  • + 25
 they definitely did master trolling in action right there
  • + 36
 Babies drink from bottles.
  • + 10
 It should go directly on the bottom bracket for maximum annoyances.
  • + 6
 @Ritgut:
men drink from camels dosent sound much better
  • + 4
 @markg1150: men drain reservoirs.
  • + 2
 I'm going to design a bottle cage shaped like a big middle finger specifically for bikes with these bottle mount locations.
  • - 1
 Really makes this bike a no-go. That and the PF.
  • + 59
 why on God's green earth would you put a water bottle holder there where it can get sprayed with all the traildoodoo of the day?
  • + 8
 Calm down. For $7100 you can afford to have a little extra frame protection
  • + 21
 @Husker2112: and a little giardia and impetigo too evidently ;-)
  • + 8
 @preach: Geez thats why you have a cap. Or use a pack.
  • + 20
 Think of it this way: every bike that doesn't have one, even if it's completely silly to expect that, gets slagged on in reviews, & it wouldn't be a terrible spot for a storage cage with one of those pods that can hold a tube & tools. & they did used to make fenders for bottle mounts in that spot, I guess.

I fully expect the next Demo or V-10 review to mention the lack of bottle cage.
  • + 4
 @Husker2112: Oh I would definitely use a pack. And when some of the best water bottels (Camel Back) have dirt traps right in the opening, a cap doesnt make too much of a difference.
  • + 12
 CamelBak* for those who care...
  • + 1
 Because people think it's cool to strap on 10kg of sh*t and spen all day pushing your overweight bike uphill so you can go bikepacking.
  • + 3
 In all honesty, i didn't notice it until you said something.
  • + 13
 Yeah, I always wonder that. I've had dog shit fly on the mouth piece of my bottle when attached to the traditional in-the-frame location. This would be like Russian roulette on my trails. You also can't reach it as you ride, either.
  • + 8
 one cow sh*t on the wheel and soon they´ll find out, that it is a bad idea..
  • + 7
 The (insert dentists/lawyers/richfatbastards here) don't take it out in the mud anyway..... they'll be just fine kicking up a little fire road dust on their water bottles.

#mybike'scleanmykitisbrandnew
  • + 9
 It's a deal breaker with dozens of excellent performers in this category. If they didn't want to slightly change the frame they should have designed a custom yeti blue triangular bottle that sits just below the shock and included it for free, this would have been an awesome good will thing to do, and changed a deal breaker for a lot of people into a really cool selling point and talking point on the trails. Instead as anyone who's ever had to use a water bottle in this position will tell you, never again...
  • + 3
 Here's a nice solution to that. Nalgene makes a water bottle with a lid.

store.nalgene.com/Nalgene-Bike-Bottle-p/22%20ounce%20atb.htm
  • + 17
 @Rasterman: Gotta say... If I need a drink I just stop anyway. Slow down for f's sake and enjoy your surroundings for 30 seconds instead of rushing around like a strava dork worried about killing there average speed.

I love your idea though. Custom bottle. Just enough water to get by on a 1-2 hour ride. Any more and you need a pack anyway. Or maybe just put the water in the frame... in a special tube... with a straw out the steer tube... DING DONG!
  • + 7
 @Endurahbrah: but it doesn't help when your bottle get smashed out of it's cage by a log and you only find out 20 minutes later when you want a drink
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: I'm not sure why they don't do that. If would make sense on so many bikes. I mostly ride without a pack but when I do go for longers rides with no access to water on route I fill a bottle with (insert electrolyte drink)
  • + 4
 @Rasterman: Its not that bad. Ive had a bottle on the bottom of the frame for 3 years and it doesn't bother me. Camelback for longer days.
  • + 3
 @Endurahbrah: My last bike was an Enduro with the same mount under mount like this, I had it for 6 years, I hated it. I rode with the bottle there in all kinds of conditions, the protective cap is useless, the bottle is covered with crap, which you then get all over your gloves and hands, plus sometimes you're riding in some pretty foul stuff, and then the bottle and your gloves are rancid.
  • + 2
 @mxben13: It's not about that, I always stop now with my normal bottle position. The issue is the bottle being covered with filth (see my other comment).
  • + 3
 @Rasterman: had a SB 95 C with the stupid water bottle mounted there and I agree never again. Plus the ridiculous frame price of $3500. Chris Conroy is a tad arrogant imo.
  • + 2
 @Endurahbrah: I've used this on my Ibis HDR. The lid breaks inevitably breaks off leaving you with a basic water bottle, covered in mud.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: next demo will have SWAT...
  • + 2
 And you need to be a yoga master with MacAskill balance to get it out while riding.
  • + 3
 I've learned to put up with the inconvenience of this aspect. Swing a leg over any new Yeti SB and it will seem like a very insignificant sacrifice
  • + 4
 @Rasterman: I guess I was being optimistic since I am building up a Banshee Phantom and it has the under tube water bottle location. Sigh... thanks.

I know! I will use my hydration pack to rinse off the nasty water bottle! Problem solved!
  • + 1
 More that this is the ONLY OPTION. Such a pain in the ass.
  • + 2
 Why is everyone so hung up on water bottles? I think on my new frame i'm going to specifically ask for no mounts just to make a point. Just carry a back pack or bum bag and be done with it.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: extra weight up high sucks not to mention a sweaty back, that's why.
  • + 3
 @Rasterman: I've been taking off the bottle screw top and bypassing the horse manure.
  • + 1
 @mxben13: Yeah that's what I did too. Still gets your hands wet and nasty sometimes. Thankfully I'm back to a properly mounted bottle and those days are forever gone Big Grin
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: BC cleaning a camel back was annoying, very hot to wear, and I feel more free without one.
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: use filtered or bottled water and stick it in the freezer once done. I've not cleaned mine in 6 months and it's still good to go. I've always worn a backpack and I feel naked without one. Also I know i've got everything I need to get me home (first aid kit included).
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: there are mountain bikers who earn a decent wage who can actually ride a bike too....not just messing about on fire roads!!
Jealousy is an ugly trait...
When I see a guy or girl on an expensive bike I think 'nice bike'.....and that is all..
Happy Christmas all.
  • + 1
 if you were a real biker you would enjoy drinking trail shit while riding. Drink it in baby
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: yummers. drink in the trail brah
  • + 43
 I hope nobody drank from that water bottle, next time just pack a straw and drink directly from a puddle on the ground
  • + 2
 haha best trick of the day
  • + 9
 I have been carrying a "LifeStraw" on my backcountry rides: It's pretty sweet, affordable and weighs nothing: I can drink right out of creeks. lifestraw.com/products/lifestraw
  • + 1
 Lick it Big Grin
  • + 4
 @axleworthington: just so you know those don't filter heavy metals. so if there is any sort of mining or refinery in the area you should be cautious of where you drink from. it only removes bacteria.
  • - 1
 Deal killer with no internal bottle cage
  • + 27
 @mikekazimer i really appreciated the references and comparisons to other bikes on the market. this review helps to break the mold of general praise for a given bike by providing clear comparisons both within the Yeti family and against the competition that a potential consumer would be looking at. keep up the good work!
  • + 25
 Come on Pinkbike, we are all waiting for a long travel 29 shootout..., 5.5 New Enduro Slash Hightower Wreckoning Jeffsy
  • + 2
 How is the jeffsy long travel while spec'd with a 140 fork .... dot dot dot
  • + 14
 @kipvr, don't worry, a comparison piece is in the works. First we need to get some more miles in on the Enduro that recently showed up...

And @mxben13, the Jeffsy actually has very similar geometry numbers to the SB5.5; it's just that it comes with a 140mm instead of a 160mm fork.
  • + 12
 Mega 290. Let's not forget
  • - 6
flag mxben13 (Dec 19, 2016 at 14:13) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer and geometry has what to do with suspension travel? Enlighten me good sir.
  • + 19
 @mxben13, I was simply pointing out that it's fair to include the Jeffsy in a long-travel comparison, especially if the SB5.5 is included - they both have 140mm of rear travel. Maybe we should call it 'longish travel'?
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: try upforking the jeffsy to 150 pike - turns it into an absolute beast!
  • + 7
 @mikekazimer: call it Unduro. An Enduro bike that is not Enduro bike because Enduro is not cool because it is not raced blind and it's a commercial plot to steal our money. 160mm of travel and 65,5 head angle, Enduro. Not cool. Too big bike. 155 and 66 head angle - trail bike. Trail is cool. It's real mountain biking. So much more feedback
  • + 1
 And RIP9
  • + 2
 @mxben13: I totally get what you are saying but there are only a few 29ers with 150+ rear travel so it would be a small shootout! Also there are a fair few companies deciding to stop the rear travel at 140, just like this Yeti and the Hightower, and presumably for good reason. At the moment, I'd still consider 140 the lowest limit of 'long travel cagagory' for a 29er. Looks like that might change in the near future though going by some of the recent Pinkbike spy shots.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer:
That's good news, I'm looking for my next bike (so who isn't) and I'd like to hear more opinions on the of the extra travel on the back of the Enduro,Slash RIP and Wreckoning over the slightly shorter (but still slacker) 140 bikes as mentioned here with the 5.5. Is there a longer travel bike that retains the playfulness of the shorter travel options?
  • + 3
 Just got a jeffsy carbon pro and the bike is freaking amazing! Climbs like a cat and is really poppy playful on the decent. Only things I don't like about mine is the saddle, and the grips.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Keep the Process 111 in the mix. One of the best handling 29ers IMO
  • + 1
 And the "old" Remedy 29 to rule them all
  • + 1
 Add Starling Murmur to that list. Handmade in Bristol.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: 66.5 is definitely trail bike territory. It just looks too trail for my liking.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: I rode a 5.5c for the last 6 months and just got a wreckoning.

The wreckoning is more fun!!!! And truly long travel!!
  • + 1
 + the cotic rocket please!
  • + 16
 Water bottles go in your pack next to the beer.
  • - 6
flag CodeBlue (Dec 19, 2016 at 21:43) (Below Threshold)
 Pack? Who wears a pack?
  • + 1
 Wow, can't wait to have a mouth full of dirt every time I take a drink.
  • + 1
 @charmiller: or unscrew the top off.
Race face stash bib is pretty cool. Fits small
  • + 13
 I love this bike, stunning looking and all owners of the latest breed of Yeti can't shut up talking about them. I'd still take the 6C if I lived in BC or PNW...
  • + 1
 Mmmmmm Smile
  • + 1
 @Earthmotherfu: what mmm, you make me homie-phobic
  • + 0
 6c feels like a niner anyway
  • + 4
 6c always gives me a twelverWink
  • - 2
 @Earthmotherfu: it's not like I don't like 29ers , the idea of having a long travel one gives me boners but with so many lifts or shuttles around I'd go for smaller wheels.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I had one of the first with the 5-29, it was mega fast but I just never felt right on it. It had the modern slack geo and all the bells and whistles but 275 just feels so much better, better than 26 even.
275 for life Smile
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: why not just lift or shuttle with this bad boy.. Guaranteed it could be shredded that way as well..
  • + 3
 It's not just a good looking bike, it rides like a dream. Had a chance to demo this and a SB6 this past summer. I went in expecting to like the SB6 more, because it's closer to what I currently ride with the smaller wheels and longer travel. But I liked the SB5.5 much better. I think it even handled better in the techy, rocky downhill stuff. Just my opinion. Nothing wrong with the SB6 at all; I just preferred the other bike.
  • + 9
 This bike was released days after I got my sc Hightower, and for a quick second I had buyers remorse. But when the Hightower is upforked to 160 it's amazing how similar the geometry is between the two. I'd love to to ride these back to back, does anyone have experience with both of these bikes?
  • + 2
 Did that much upforking fork up the bike?

I've got 140 on the rear of my stumpy29 (via bikeyoke link + longer stroke shock) and am considering forking up the front from 150 to 160. Fork yeah.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: How do you find the stumpy29 now? what shock you go with. i have an expert on demo atm and it's real nice but i'm blowing through the rear travel like no tomorrow. was hoping to race it but think it may need a different rear shock
  • - 2
 Is there anyone out there who does not upfork their 120-150 bikes sooner than later? I bought Lyrik so that I can upfork my 160 bike to 180 for park riding. Mohahaha.
  • + 5
 @levizbrown if y you do some searching on mtbr and maybe even other forums you will find gys putting 2.25 stroke shocks on the hightower giving it 151mm of travel. they bike has to stay in the high setting but the numbers are still comparable to bikes like the new slash and enduro. everything clears fine too
  • + 16
 @WAKIdesigns: I upforked your mum. Lucky it was only 160mm
  • + 1
 @AznKiDrew: See what Minaar did to that HT. Double crown fork with a modified rear link and with the ability to do up the rear travel on the stock from design...it's my opinion that put that bike to 160 rear and 170 in front for a burly proto for a new long travel 29er.
  • + 4
 @vpfree2009: I'm rocking the monarch+ debonair, and with 5 rubber bands and a million psi (about 70 over body weight) to give me a hair over 30% sag I'm still not getting quite the bottom out resistance I prefer.

So next step is to slap another band in there and try a hair under 30% sag and see what happens. The monarch+ is definitely way better than the float ctd it came with, even after I had that shock tuned by Avalanche.

I'm still a little skeptical though, as I've already blown the monarch+ once and it seems everyone needs to run pretty high psi to get the proper sag.

The 2017's still come with the proprietary shock mount, right? So you'll need a bikeyoke link to open up your rear shock options. I'd love to try a Float X on it and see how it compares...... anyone?
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: Proprieary shock mount or metric shock sizing? Yikes if they went proprietary mounts on MY17....I'm running a X2 and it is highly capable!
  • + 2
 @nicolai12: my only problem with that is they were truly testing a long travel 29er they would have just used a fox 36 at 160mm or higher. they didnt "need" to use a DC fork. i think this was more of an experiment for Minaar to use for a race
  • + 2
 @AznKiDrew: True, agree on the point that it's a test for a DH bike to race some of the mellow UCI tracks...but it's also my guess that they are trying to sort out what to do with the new Nomad which will be a long travel 29er for sure...any idea how the 151mm HT turns out... and were they running maxxis 2.3? Is the clearance really possible!
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: The non-debonair Monarch Plus seems to work much better with FSR in my experience.
  • + 1
 @nicolai12: from what I have read and seen there are zero issues with clearance with any tire combo. resting head angle is around 66.2 and BB height around 13.6inches - 13.7
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: yeah that makes sense.
  • + 1
 @AznKiDrew: stop that already, you're making me horny for a Hightower now. Damn.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: upforked my 16 fuel 9.9 to 130 pike...Thing shreds..
  • + 2
 @AznKiDrew: yea I've looked into this. When I first got the bike I was strongly considering it. After riding it with the bigger fork, even for lift service I honestly never feel like it needs more travel (for what it is) ... but.... if SC does come out with a link to bump up the travel, as some rumors say... I will most likely give it a go
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: much upfork very wow
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: I also have the debonair plus on my enduro 29, and its garbage. All the bands in there, over 300 psi and it still bottoms too hard.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: for what it's worth my buddy installed Vorsprung corset to his Float and said it got better both with sensitivity and bottom out.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: after that evening with your mum, I'm not sure I want a more sensitive bottom.

JK all in fun. I really would like a new x2 or ccdbair; the twin tube designs are the only rear shocks that aren't factory tuned for someone who weighs 150 pounds and rides like a rabbit over the rough. The real issue is that the compression damping isn't set up well for that frame or for heavier riders.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: Sorry to hear it. I've only ridden mine the last couple months of the season so I'll give it another shot this spring then consider selling and going Float X or even shipping it off for a custom tune. Problem is with some custom tunes you lose a nice firm pedaling platform tho the shock works better for dh. It never ends.....
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: you put me in an awkward position man. Social justice warriors can pop in to stand in my defense anytime, telling you that you laugh at my mother for the sake of making a joke, while I want them to do is to go fk themselves and listen to Slayer. They need Slayer therapy... ah your shock. A friend of a friend knows a friend who would never allow anybof his friends to buy CCDBAir...
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: The point of twin tube shocks is that you have so many adjustments you essentially get a custom tune no matter what the frame/weight combo is. Both the X2 and ccdbair have platform levers.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: My coworker said he rode the new slayer and it pedals very well. Looking at the BMI of most SJW they could use a good pedaling bike.
  • + 2
 Yeah both the SC Hightower and 5.5C are great machines. The new Niner RIP9 RDO at 150f/160r is a tremendous bike at the slightly longer travel side but climbs as well and has just a touch more enduro prowess IMHO. Hard to wrong with any of them.
  • + 2
 @TenderRoni: Have you ridden the new RIP9? I'm curious as to how well it climbs
  • + 8
 One of these is heading my way for the holiday season, exposed bottle cage location be damned. Ive already scoured the net for water bottle top covers and have two different variations of those coming too.

I was lucky enough to test a 5.5 this summer at a Yeti demo day and I agree with Mr. K's assessment of the ride. I hit a few of my bread and butter trails and was immediately comfortable railing corners hard and smashing through rocky terrain at full speed. The bike felt really good with completely stock spec and minimal adjustments. We'll soon see how my times hold up after three years on an E29 (another phenomenal bike).

Is it better than the HT? Is it better than the E29? Better than a Switchblade? Wreckoning? WFO? Riot? Slash? Who knows. They are probably each great at certain things. It's been an incredible year for 29" trail and enduro race bikes. Way cool that it's not just the E29 anymore!
  • + 1
 @Speeder01, what'd you end up going with for water bottles? SB4.5 here..
  • + 1
 @lushcinema: I found top covers for Polar bottles on ebay and ordered two of those. They came out of Hong Kong I think and havent arrived yet. They have little teeth inside the top that grab the nozzle of Polar bottles. I'll be curious to see if they fit the Specialized bottles.

For the other one I ordered a "schwinn water bottle" from Target of all places. Looks like Sears sells them too. It hasnt arrived yet either. The top looks promising.

Corsa also makes a bottle with a top cover.

What would be sweet is if one of these makers either did what is said above, and made a custom bottle that fit the frame, or someone made a bottle with a nice top cover that seals up pretty well. Its amazing that there really arent many options out there.

For years when I rode a Mojo HD with bottom of the downtube cage mount, I used the Nalgene bottle with the flip top. As noted above, the flip top is a little flimsy, but it does cover pretty well and if you respect it it will last. The Nalgene bottle is also a little slimmer than a normal bottle so I had to put some zip ties on the cage to make it fit a bit tighter.
  • + 12
 Long live Buddy Rich
  • + 2
 Totally dug the Buddy Rich reference.
  • + 2
 @Chadimac22: Let's just hope that the bike doesn't berate you like BR did if you screw up.
  • + 10
 It's good to see mountain bikes FINALLY getting cheaper!
  • + 8
 Great to see bikes being compared in reviews.
Really appreciate the comparison with with jeffsy, slash etc - makes it feel more like a review than an infomerical :-)
  • + 5
 I was running my fastest times on the 4.5c and for my skills I felt like I was able to push to my max limits and the bike kept wanting to be pushed even further. I can't imagine what the burlier version would feel like. I hope a demo rolls around soon to give it a try!
  • + 8
 Can't handle the bottle being right in the line of fire of any and all mud or dust the front tire throws up.
  • - 7
flag Husker2112 (Dec 19, 2016 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 Because a water bottle is so fragile?
  • + 21
 What do you mean? I usually go for about a 30% mud mixture in my brotein shakes. Helps maintain gnar levels along with my breezeblock salad.
  • + 3
 @TomCastellani: I have rock gardens for breakfast
  • + 5
 Mud is one thing. It starts to get really disgusting when you drive through cow / horse / dog shit...
  • + 2
 @TomCastellani What flavour do you prefer?
  • + 1
 Not to forget all the dog poop, giving your preferred rehydrational drink just that extra fizzy edge.
  • + 2
 @cvoc: best help yo improve bunnyhopping skills
  • + 5
 @donpinpon29: Maybe that's why bunnies started hopping in the first place. Don't want to get their furry feet dirty.
  • + 1
 @Husker2112: Testosterone flavour. Sometimes with a bit of lavender and chamomile.
  • + 1
 @TomCastellani: Good choice. I always fancy a bit of Rosemary myself
  • + 1
 Mud, dust, dog/horse poop -- just a few extra vitamins and minerals to your daily intake.
  • + 8
 Long travel 29ers seem like the future to me. Looking forward to A review of the Jeffsey.
  • + 6
 this Yeti is surprisingly short in the reach. not that it's a problem, but they certainly haven't joined the super long reach club that is trending. i'd prefer an extra 10-15mm personally.
  • + 9
 That's what she said...
  • + 1
 @Tshuttleworth: did she leave you?
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh: **sniff, tear***
  • + 9
 yeti, i would buy your bikes if you put a damn threaded bb in there.
  • + 5
 For everyone complaining about the price, there is the $4800 XT build kit with the .5 lb. heavier carbon frame.

I have it and have been impressed by the Fox 36 and Float X Perforrnance suspension package. Came in at 30.5 lbs. stock.
  • + 2
 It is brilliant. It needs better brakes out of the box (they're non-line Deore's), and it doesn't have the wider rims I'd like, but as a base to throw some LB carbon wheels onto, can't complain about anything except the water bottle carriage.
  • + 2
 @tehllama: Yup, I replaced the brakes with some Zee's and wheels with some Stan's Arch MK3s on Hope Pro 4's.
  • + 4
 m.outdoorgearlab.com/Best-Enduro-Mountain-Bike

It's not a perfect review and they make some statements I think are weird, but you let me know when Pinkbike does a review that actually involves timed testing over various segments in direct competition with other bikes. I'd go so far as to call it revolutionary in today's bike world. Wouldn't want to rock the boat any, would we...?
  • + 7
 7k and you get 350 hubs. The rest of the build seems right but they should have thrown in some 240s.
  • + 8
 ...price of 2 Jeffsy
  • + 8
 Twice as f**king cool though
  • - 2
 I'd by the ... ... JEFFSY!
  • + 5
 Probably available to purchase, though
  • + 4
 notice that the fancy shmany weird spoke wheels they tried to push in the recent years are gone and we're back to
normal spoked wheels?
these are 28 spoke wheels.. normal lacing

thanks
  • + 4
 I thought it was an awesome review. Really am a fan of the comparisons between similar bikes. Dream job right there riding and reviewing bikes.
  • + 6
 When can we expect the Jeffsy review? Wink
  • + 6
 It's on the way - expect to see it before the end of January.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Nice. Looking forward to read what you guys think.
  • + 5
 Oh no, I hardly noticed that it had Eagle on it. It's starting to look normal to me! It's the beginning of the end!
  • + 2
 Yeti was building some nice long bikes for a while but I think they may have hired the old designer from Pivot. This XL is far too short in reach and Pivot is showing bikes with modern geometry. Welcome to the nineties Yeti! Great looking machine otherwise.
  • + 2
 Im gonna have to disagree...rode my buddys 5.5 on a typical trail DH and was not impressed. it handled like a cargo barge. Super slow on the turn in, slow to accelerate, not flickable at all. Not very fun. It certainly mowed shit down with ease, but I like a bit more liveliness. YMMV!
  • + 6
 Oh my, what pretty linkage you have!
  • + 1
 All the better to...,
  • + 1
 Comparing this bike with Jeffsy?
well, we have to consider the price also!

The entry level Jeffsy comes at 1500 euros while the SB5.5 comes at 4500 euros, 3 TIMES MORE!!!!

And now you say: "well, the SB5.5 its better speced!"
Really??!?!? Just look at the brakes for exemple, SLX on Jeffsy and Deore on the SB5.5.
Deore brakes on a 4500 euros Bike?!?!?! hahahahahahahahahah

Its a bit lighter because its carbon frame? yes, sure!
but pay 3 times more for 500 grams less? No, thanks!
  • + 2
 So what you're saying is that for $7900 USD I can get myself a crappy climber? One with a front end that wanders unless I get up out of the saddle and shift my weight forward. No thanks Yeti.
  • + 2
 If you're riding this bike the way it's meant to be ridden there's only a ten percent chance that a bottle could hang onto a cage in the first place. It's science. Get a good bag and quit moaning
  • + 2
 800mm bars are the new trailside dick measuring contest, if you are sub 6' they are most likely too big for you and yet we are seeing them more despite a small percentage of the population actually fitting them
  • + 8
 While I agree with the fact that not everyone needs them that wide, it has a lot more to do with shoulder width than height imo.
  • + 6
 @DARKSTAR63: and fork travel, head angle, stem length.

Plus you can also cut bar down which is better as a whole for a complete bike spec people seem to forget.
  • + 3
 @zutroy: Absolutely. Reach and bar width are relative. Some preference comes into play as well. I agree 100% ship 'em wide and let people sort it out. Better than a overly narrow bar spec.
  • + 5
 I ride 785, and I'd much rather cut an 800 bar than have to replace a 760 bar.
  • + 1
 re: • SRAM Eagle Drivetrain: Shifting was crisp and quick, and there were zero dropped chains over the course of the test period. It's a matter of personal preference, but I think a 32-tooth front chainring would have been a better match to the 10-50 tooth cassette – I rarely found myself in the easiest gear, even on long, steep climbs.

Please edit, article does not say what chaining it comes with, yet says 32 would be a better fit. Stock is 30t?
  • + 1
 Correct, it comes with a 30t ring.
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 19, 2016 at 13:42) (Below Threshold)
 Something tells me that if I had 50t in the rear I'd have to dig real deep to find a spiderless 40t narrow wide chainring... and then I'd need a long fireroad to utilize that 40t to 10t in the rear... is this how Eagles fly? Climb singletrack to ride down fireroad, or does Wolftooth or One Up really need to make that 9-54 cassette before Shimano does?
  • + 2
 The Maxxis website doesn't list a DHF 29x2.5 WT option - the WT is only on 27.5. Does this tire exist? I've been waiting for it...
  • + 1
 Yup, not sure where you're at but Jenson has it for $50 right now. ThinkIng of picking one up.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: I think that was a typo, Maxxis has a 29x2.5 DHF, but it is not a WT tire. www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-468-121-minion-dhf
  • + 1
 @m-t-g: Ah, yer right!
  • + 2
 Been riding a SB5 for 2 years and the bottlecage is not that annoying : I just "ppppfffhhhh" in the little hole before I drink.
  • + 1
 How does this compare to the Evil Following? Thinking the Following for my next bike. Looks like a killer trail bike. Short travel but has the 29 wheels and aggressive geo. Looks like a trail ripper.
  • + 0
 The bike is a proven winner so there isn't much to complain about aside from my personal preference....That rear suspension has too many moving parts. Unless it's highly reliable I would pass on this bike for something with less parts that'll break. Also that WB was driving me nuts too...For the first few moments I thought it was something on his shoe due to the angle of the shot. It took a while for it to dawn on my that it could be a water bottle....
  • + 3
 from now on PB should put in every test a video of the bike's suspension moving, it's so satisfying
  • + 1
 As a recent owner of the 2018 5.5 Turq I can say that this bike is close to a do it all Trail/AM option. With the new Fox Factory DPX2 EVOL it climbs as well as many XC bikes but when pointed down hill is a speed demon.
  • + 4
 Don't want to be that guy but it's "shoo-in" and not shoe in.
  • + 3
 Not sure I would want to drink out of the water bottle in this pic: www.pinkbike.com/photo/14157122
  • + 3
 Sooo we turn that into a 26" 4x bike?
  • + 1
 a friend of mine had one of these and he was able to do big whips on it, hit a lot of big gaps. pretty rad bike if you ask me
  • - 1
 "The 66.5-degree head angle is achieved by running a 160mm fork, which means that there's not a lot of room left for geometry manipulation by adding more travel up front."

How much more travel would you add. It's a 20mm offset now. Much more on the front end travel missmatch is going to start feeling weird...?
  • + 4
 Exactly - that's the point I was making. If the 66.5-degree head angle were with a 150mm fork you would have more leeway to create a slacker bike by putting a 160mm fork on, but with as "overforked" as the bike is, 170mm might be too much.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: LOL, my bad. reading comprehension.... missed the "not"...

Thanks!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I 'upforked' the Fox 34 150 on my 5c with a Fox 36 160 and I love the result. Dropped the handlebars 10mm to compensate ride position, and goes downhill so much more confidently than with the 150 and for me better matches what the rear of the bike can do. Apple/oranges, and maybe the 160 is enough, but I'd definitely try it if I bought a 5.5c
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: there is no off the shelf 170 29er fork......and Curtis won't say how his spec mechanics made a 170....
  • + 1
 theres... just... something about these bikes. it's kind of like Ferrari, no matter the curves ors edges it just always looks so good.
  • + 0
 Don't care what it costs... This is one of the most beautiful bikes available, ever. I'd fly to CO myself to hand them 8k and tell them to keep the change.
  • + 1
 Aaaand now I've been listening to sick drum solos on youtube for over an hour ...so, thanks for that.
  • + 1
 You're welcome Smile
  • + 0
 Bikes really have no right to have lines like that. Or should i say lack of lines, everything's curved! Although i'd hate to have to clean those lower link stanchions.
  • + 2
 HELLO compering SB5.5 to Jeffsy just made my purchase more worthy
  • + 2
 SB... Nice nice; now how about a 10inch RWT version...
Big Grin
  • + 2
 Mike, have you gents ridden the Wreckoning? Would love a comparison.
  • + 1
 love the last sentence of the article , my thoughts exactly!! and sweet ride would like to try one
  • + 1
 Hmmm 7 k for a Yeti bicycle or 8k For a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle...makes sense
  • + 1
 Mike, do you feel the SB5.5 is comparable to a 2015/16 Intense Carbine 29C?
  • + 1
 Good question!
  • + 1
 Does anyone have any thoughts about the non turq GX build vs Turq X01? What do i really gain by the $1500 price diff ?
  • + 2
 Bike looks well hung with that bottle down thar...
  • - 2
 I really like that they have come full circle back to the Yeti Turqouise. Just wish the prices were not so insane these days. When I bought my ASR7 I paid ~ 3900$ - I know not full carbon, but still, at 7100$+ can I get some Ohlins forks and a shock please? Now please bring out a sweet agressive 6-7" trail bike.
  • + 15
 "Now please bring out a sweet agressive 6-7" trail bike."

Pretty sure that's called the SB6...
  • + 11
 You mean the SB6 which has the last three men's EWS series championships, Graves, Rude, Rude, think they got that covered just fine.
  • + 1
 @ryguy79: Rode it, and I dont care much for it. I know I may be in the minority, but the SB66 alloy was great, but alas discontinued.
  • + 3
 @drbelleville:

I own a 2014 SB66 and keep riding it. I've ridden the SB6 several times and I'm a fan but its not better enough to me to justify the cost.

But, it still exists in answer to your initial post.
  • + 1
 For someone 5'11", the only problem with this bike appears to be its 19" seat tube.
  • + 1
 Love mine!!! Even with the bottle issue Big Grin there is a bar near the backyard trails Wink
  • + 1
 it's literally a killer bike
  • + 1
 Im always surprised on how light these builds are. That front tire is above 1100 grams which is not light
  • + 1
 I wonder if they actually weighed it, or just took it for granted from Yeti.

Either way, I want borrow their scales. Wink
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer Matt Russell is really aging up there, you should send him back to Colorado where the trails are not as gnarly!
  • + 1
 I had to use a stunt double - I'm gonna find some HGH so that Matt can ride large frames.
  • + 1
 Somebody buy Donny some gloves for Christmas. I know loads of riders ride without them, but it makes my hands twinge.
  • + 2
 I have a 4.5. It rips. Ad or not the bikes rule
  • + 1
 This is a desirable bike.
  • + 1
 This bike is one of our favorites!
  • + 1
 What is this, like the 100th review done on this bike?
  • + 0
 You pay to play on PB...these are basically Ads. Which is why they are never very critical...always complimentary of the ad revenue generators.
  • + 2
 Ufff! Soooo sexy!
  • - 2
 If I could take 20 mm out of the seat tube and put it to the top tube... well I would still miss the ~4500$ the frame ALONE costs here in Switzerland. Thanks importer. I will have a look on the Santa Cruz then.
  • + 3
 Dude... Retail Price is 3690.- CHF, so around 3585.- USD...
Get informed first, hate later Wink
  • - 3
 @nolimit: indeed should have checked again before complaining. But last year's price for the sb6c literally turned me down and that's what they were: well above 4000. Unless my memory plays me tricks...
  • + 2
 @EnduroManiac: Your Memory Plays you tricks Wink The SB6c also retails/retailed for 3690.- CHF including a float X
  • - 1
 @truffy: Alright guys, my bad, maybe I hit my head too much on the ground. Or maybe my brain found excuses not to buy it.
  • + 1
 It's a nice bike but it's no Danny Carey.
  • + 1
 What fork offset are they using?
  • + 3
 51mm.
  • + 2
 Porn bike, even if 29er
  • + 0
 worst place for bottle cage
  • - 1
 Flex much
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.194240
Mobile Version of Website